Huffman: Oregonian is guilty of "blatant lies"

Carla Axtman

Oregon GOP Senate candidate Jim Huffman is doing some crazy crap on Twitter these days. Most of the really weird stuff has been retweeting right wing talk show hosts and blogs, even going so far as to retweet those questioning Obama's macho-ness. Your typical playground bully kind of stuff.

But today, Huffman may have actually stepped in it with this tweet:

I'm no expert on how to run a campaign, but it seems like calling the editorial board of the largest newspaper in the state liars isn't a smart strategy.

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    What's funny is Huffman's link that says this: "The fact of AFRC’s cooperative participation does not warrant a quantum leap to the conclusion that it’s standing “shoulder to shoulder” with environmentalists in endorsing the bill."

    Gosh the Oregonian editorial board must have made a quantum leap because of this video of, er, Andy Kerr and AFRC literally standing shoulder to shoulder endorsing the bill...

    Come ON, Huffman. I've heard you're a reasonable guy. Demonstrate it.

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    Very cool. Just did a comment, hit review, and was taken to a 403 page while the comment, of course, was erased.

    Screw that!

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    He's coming to Medford next week to speak to The Jackson County Republican Women's group.

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    It really begs the question, who is determining to content of Huffman's opposition research? It can't be said to come from his own campaign.

    The "Warrior of Truth" routine is annoyingly Palin-esque. Lying via accusations of other lies is like applying derivatives to your own content; the more inscrutable, the better.

    The regrettable Oregonian snub, however, was clear as day.

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    Not ready for prime time.

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      That doesn't mean anything to the G.O.P. Witness a certain former governor who is not related to Terry Jones' writing partner in Monty Python.

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    Carla wrote: "... it seems like calling the editorial board of the largest newspaper in the state liars isn't a smart strategy."

    If the Oregonian editorial board members are journalism professionals, as I assume they are, then Huffman's post should have no effect whatsoever.

    Revenge is not a defensible editorial policy for mainstream media (and, in my book, "mainstream media" is a term that represents something good in our society).

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      I suspect when one calls any individual or group of people "liars" it has an effect. The premise that professional journalists are exempt from human nature and can somehow omit all from their calculus save a basic code of complete rationality seems naive. If editorialists relied only one cold facts and data, the Wall Street Journal would have an entirely different editorial page, to be sure.

      It's just plain poor strategy to poke a finger in the eye of the editorial board. Their job is to say what they think--and if they think Huffman is irresponsibly pejorative and silly, then they're within their editorial duty to say as much.

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        While I agree with Carla that it's a bad strategy to call a newspaper a bunch of liars when they are, I also agree with Tim that this should not affect their coverage.

        But only if the "lie" you're pointing out is actually false. If it's true, then at worst they can call you intemperate. But if you start screaming "lie" about something that happens to be the truth, then they have every right to consider you not ready for prime time.

        Regardless, Huffman is going to lose. And not because he's an idiot. He's going to lose because Senator Wyden is a keeper. Nobody on the east side voted for our Senior Senator, but he still went to the wall for them to keep their timber payments. And now he's managed to make peace between environmentalists and loggers.

        Environmentalists and loggers! With a record like that, what's he doing slumming in a Senate job? Send him to the middle east!

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    The Oregonian editorialsis must be doing something correct. If the GOP candidate thinks they're liars and progressives (post below) believe that they are too far right.

    Only in Oregon!

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    Anyone who thinks the Oregonian even gives the conservative viewpoint a fair shake (let alone being a right wing anti liberal publication)HAS NOT EVER READ IT!. The thought is laughable. Their treatment of the many important issues that face us as americans and oregonians leaves no doubt they are either horribly uninformed or amenable to telling big fat lies. Want examples? Here is one that comes to mind: Their entire treatment of the Arizona anti illegal alien law was one lie strung together with the next. Want more? I could go on all day

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      What are the lies that you say they "strung together"?

      Just because they print some things with which you disagree means that they're biased. Perhaps you're so far to the right that anything that's even near the center appears to be far left.

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        And yet, as evidenced below, the same could be said for disagreement from the left for the same paper. Merely disagreeing does not constitute proof of bias on either side. As someone much less left of center I generally see the Oregonian as center-left. Other more 'progressive' individuals might call the paper center-right.

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          Of course, Kurt, but part of the problem is that for 40 years the right has had a tremendous victim complex regarding the media.

          The NYTimes did much to cheerlead the Iraq war (remember Judith Miller), yet they're still depicted as far-left by the right.

          Most mainstream media tends to be establishment-oriented. You'll notice that most newspapers, the Oregonian included, have a business section. Very few, if any, have a labor section. Isn't that an inherent rightward bias?

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            Michael, I remember when the Pitssburgh Press had a Labor section. Of course they also had steel mills back then also. It is a very interesting question as to the subtle, inherent rightward bias because of the lack of a labor section in many/most newspapers today.

            But then of course they really still have those sections. they have just been re-named "capital politics" and "state employees". Sorry, I deserve a snark themed penalty.

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              Kurt, that's just silly. Okay, silly and snarky.

              For one thing, I don't see a "state employees" section in the Oregonian. Do you?

              And, come on, the business section is really about the nuts and bolts of running businesses. Where in the paper is there a section about the nuts and bolts of protecting yourself as an employee?

              And, let's face it, most of the paper's readers are employees, not business owners or high-level executives.

              Perhaps some of the decline in readership is that common folk don't find much that relates to their daily lives in the newspaper.

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      I think it is important to distinguish between ideological bias and snarkiness.

      In 30 years in the news business, I saw very few large newspapers that consistently showed an ideological bias in their news columns.

      However, I've edited countless writers who seem to think that a dash of snark and a dab of sarcasm improve the quality of their work.

      Personally, I think such seasoning detracts from the writing, but as long as a newspaper's snarkiness covers the spectrum from red to blue, then I'll count them as unbiased.

      Under those rules, is the Oregonian unbiased? I don't have an answer, but I think that is the proper question, both for readers and Oregonian editors.

      Editorials are a different matter: They're supposed reflect the biases of the publisher, yes? In line with the old capitalist adage, "Him or her what owns the presses calls the shots."

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        Tim, I agree that the publisher can drive the editorial direction wherever he or she wants. (Though it's rather irritating when they pretend to be nonpartisan, but build a big stable of Republican columnists - unmatched by any Democratic columnists.)

        But setting aside that question, I think there's a more interesting one.

        While news is supposed to be separate from editorial - and both are supposed to be separate from advertising - in an era of layoffs, do think it's likely that there's an unspoken (perhaps even subliminal) pressure to conform to the publisher's views? After all, if the publisher is going to be calling the shots on the next round of layoffs, isn't it in the reporters' interest to make sure they're in good graces?

        There's a reason they give university faculty tenure. I think journalists would get greater credibility from the public if they operated under serious 10-year contracts (with major penalties for an early layoff or firing.)

        Way back in the day, a magazine called Brill's Content had an ombudsman who was on a fixed, nonrenewable contract - and he had the right to deliver his copy directly to the printer. That magazine died before they had a chance to really explore the possibilities, but I thought it was a very innovative approach.

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